PIM1 inhibitor synergizes the anti-tumor effect of osimertinib via STAT3 dephosphorylation in EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung cancer

Background: An increasing amount of evidence has demonstrated that combined or multiple targeted therapies could bring about more durable clinical outcomes, and it is known that epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) resistance is related to bypass activation. This study aims to explore a specific solution for third-generation EGFR-TKI resistance caused by bypass activation, and to examine the antitumor effects of the combination of a novel inhibitor CX-6258 HCl with osimertinib, along with its underlining mechanisms.

Methods: A bioinformatics analysis was performed to detect the relations between the provirus integration site for Moloney murine leukemia virus 1 (PIM1) expression and prognosis of lung cancer. The EGFR-mutated lung cancer cell lines were treated with the combination of CX-6258 HCl and osimertinib to analyze cell proliferation using the Cell Counting Kit-8, colony formation, and in vivo experiments. Cell migration was analyzed using wound healing and Transwell assays. The apoptosis level was detected using Annexin V-propidium iodide flow cytometry. The expression levels of EGFR and STAT3 were determined using Western blot analysis.

Results: High expression level of PIM1 was related to the poor prognosis of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The combined administration of osimertinib and CX-6258 HCl significantly inhibited cell proliferation and migration and effectively induced apoptosis in lung cancer cells. It was more efficient in suppressing EGFR activation and phosphorylation of STAT3 compared with osimertinib treatment alone. Furthermore, it showed a durable efficacy in a xenograft model.

Conclusions: This study showed that PIM1 is a poor prognostic factor for NSCLC. CX-6258 HCl is a potential molecular inhibitor to sensitize the antitumor effects of osimertinib through the inhibiting of the phosphorylation of STAT3 in NSCLC.

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Cat.No. Product Name Information
S7041 CX-6258 HCl CX-6258 HCl is a potent, orally efficacious pan-Pim kinase inhibitor with IC50 of 5 nM, 25 nM and 16 nM for Pim1, Pim2, and Pim3, respectively.

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